Geary County Schools makes masks optional for off-post schools

GEARY COUNTY, Kan. — After much consideration, Geary County Schools USD 475’s Board of Education on Monday voted to make the wearing of masks optional for students, staff, and visitors of schools not on Fort Riley, effective Tuesday, March 8.

The schools on Fort Riley will continue to adhere to Fort Riley’s mask policy, and students, staff, and visitors will be expected to wear a mask while inside the schools. This includes Fort Riley Elementary School, Fort Riley Middle School, Morris Hill Elementary School, Seitz Elementary School, and Ware Elementary School.

The district’s Test to Stay Program will also be suspended, effective Tuesday, March 8. Instead, the district will only test students and staff for COVID-19 upon request.

If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, they shall not return to school or work for a minimum of five days (longer if they do not have lessening symptoms) and upon return are encouraged to wear a mask for five days or take a COVID-19 test.

The district still encourages the public to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations in wearing a mask, receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, social distancing, and being tested if experiencing symptoms.

The district’s administration will continue to work diligently with local, state, and national health organizations to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the students and staff.

This policy is subject to change if further guidance is released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Kansas Department of Health and Environment that contradicts this decision.

For media inquiries, please contact Marketing and Media Specialist Lindley Lund at lindleylund@usd475.org.